What might have been…

…if the Dodgers could have kept Roberto Clemente and signed Ted Williams.

As most of you might already know, Roberto Clemente signed with the Dodgers for $10,000, but never got to play a single game in Brooklyn or Los Angeles.

A rule back then in effect required that any player signed for more than $4000 had to stay on the parent club for a full season. At that time, the Dodgers had a great team and there was nowhere to place the 18 year old Clemente. The Dodgers attempted to keep Clemente’s profile low, but the keen eye of the Pittsburgh Pirates general manager knew Clemente and he was selected by the Pirates for $4,000 on Nov. 22, 1954.

What I never heard before, was the story of how Ted Williams said that he would have liked to be a Dodger. From the Aug 20, 1940 issue of the Dubuque, Iowa Telegraph-Herald, Williams said “If I were a free agent and each major league club offered me identical contracts, I’d sign with the Dodgers… I know I’d be a hero in Brooklyn.”

Imagine the 1950’s Dodgers with Williams in left, Snider in center and Furillo in right field. Williams could have played in Los Angeles in the 1959 World Series and ended his career in LA in 1960. Then, with Clemente maturing, the 1960’s Dodgers would have been much stronger with Roberto a fixture in right field. I liked Ron Fairly, but Ron Fairly was no Roberto Clemente.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda.


135 Responses to What might have been…

  1. lbirken says:

    I have heard the Clemente story but not the Ted Williams one. The Clemente story is more intriguing because he was Dodger property and management at the time could see his potential. Fun to think about what might have been but thinking too much about such things will make your head explode.

  2. Dream outfields…What else can you say? They would’ve been unmatchable outfields. Williams, Snider Furillo….T.Davis, W.Davis & Clemente. Yes Dream outfields.
    My favorite was Pafko, Snider and Furillo.
    Manny, Kemp and Ethier came in a close second, real close. Maybe a tie. IMO.

  3. trublu4ever says:

    Wow, just read Kuroda is a Yankee!

  4. nedisajerk says:

    Kemp wearing a 49ers cap.

  5. 32and53fan says:

    Sports attorney Richard Brand discusses the Dodgers/Fox settlement.

  6. lbirken says:

    No one should be too surprised Kuroda is no longer a Dodger. Remember, Ned tried to trade him at the trade deadline and Kuroda vetoed the deal. There was a lot of talk about the possibility of Kuroda returning to Japan following the 2011 season. Ned tried to move him and instead ended up trading Trayvon Robinson instead in an attempt to shore up the catching. (Whether he did is for another time.) Kuroda received all sorts of praise for wanting to fulfil his contract and stay with the Dodgers but perhaps Ned knew at the time it was unlikely Kuroda would return to the Dodgers. I know it is not popular here to give Ned credit for much of anything and this is just a theory. Did the Dodgers ever intend to spend 10 million on Kuroda? Likely not and Huroki probably knew it as well. So in his mind there was no reason to leave the Dodgers last season and every reason to finish in L.A. Kuroda’s refusal, which was his right under the contract he had, may have cost the Dodgers a decent prospect. Perhaps the Dodgers will get some sort of draft compensation but I am not all that sure Kuroda deserves the praise he received.

  7. I respectfully disagree, _even if what you say is true_, that Kuroda didn’t deserved the praise he received because I feel that Kuroda was a far better pitcher than his won and loss record indicates. He was a victim of far too little run support in his time with the Dodgers and deserved a lot of praise for that. It was the offense that needed improvement and he deserved the raise, in my opinion. If the Yankees score the way they usually do for him they made a very good move, which I’ll follow every day in my daily newspaper as I usually do for former Dodgers that play here in New York. I hope it’s not as great a loss as it seems to me.

    • lbirken says:

      Joe, the praise to which I was referring had nothing to do with his performance. Clearly he pitched better than his won-loss record indicated. I agree he did a decent job for the Dodgers. He was praised for “being loyal” to the Dodgers and his contract by refusing the trade. All I am saying is had he accepted the trade, Ned might not have felt he needed to trade Tray Robinson in order to secure a catching prospect. He would have received that prospect in the Kuroda deal. Just my opinion and I certainly don’t know any more about this than you do. I wish Huroki well.

      • trublu4ever says:

        I agree.

      • I understand your point and I’m also confounded by these events. Your right about the Trayvon Robinson loss, but I don’t fully blame Kuroda, I think he was just looking out for himself. I think he felt he would earn more as a Dodger. He must of felt that he was worth more to the Dodgers and than found out he was wrong.

  8. messagebear says:

    Doesn’t everybody look out for himself in today’s sports environment? If Ned and Frank were so intent on saving the $4 million on Kuroda’s remaining salary, maybe they should have offered Kuroda $1 million of that to waive his no-trade clause at the time. So, I’m going to charge that fiasco to Ned once again. He doesn’t know SHIT about building a team, nor the bare fundamentals of human nature. Why blame Kuroda – what does he owe to a shithead trying to trade him?

  9. I also agree with you Bear, Ned’s made a lot poor decisions but all we can do is move on. His future depends on the new ownership. They may or may not see him in the same light.

  10. trublu4ever says:

    Last I heard, the deadline for new ownership is April 30th, I believe…heard so many stories, I don’t know what is true and what isn’t 😉

  11. Nellyjune says:

    The Red Sox signed Padilla – hmmm

  12. Good Luck to Padilla with the Red Sox but not against us in a World Series. Ya never know..

  13. messagebear says:

    April 30th sounds good to me, and it couldn’t be sooner.
    However, when things are in the bankruptcy court and especially when dealing with Frank, nothing is certain, so I will remain very doubtful that anything will be settled that quickly and simply. Just consider this a lost season, and you’ll be on the safe side.

  14. lbirken says:

    So Rupert Murdoch wants a piece of the Dodgers. At least we all know why and it has nothing do to with putting a winning team on the field and creating a winning atmosphere in the organization from top to bottom. I hope any offer from Murdoch is rejected. Been there, done that. Sorry Rupert, you already messed up the Dodgers once and I see no reason to give you another opportunity to do it again.

  15. trublu4ever says:

    Andre is signed for one year…avoiding arbitration….YAY!

  16. messagebear says:

    The incentives are very insignificant, so I surmise that both Ned and Andre figure this is the end of the road for Andre with the Dodgers. Maybe the new owner will feel differently, if he gets in place before Andre has to declare free agency. If Ned is still in charge, Andre will probably be gone in July for a couple of Non-notables.

    • nellyjune says:

      I have no doubts he will be traded if Ned is still in charge. I truly believe he wants to stay with the Dodgers, but I also think he deserves to play with a team that is in contention. Alot will be more clear once the bid actually takes place, and the reaction that Frank has to that bid. I agree with you…. I don’t think Frank is going to let this happen easily. If that were the case, he would have done what was right a long time ago.

  17. && now my dear friends, comes the make or break decision of Ned’s tenure here. I’m referring to Clayton Kershaw.Last season, prior to his Cy Young season, it was said that Kersh could of been had for cheap. (his version of cheap). Now, with the astronomical arrival of Kersh as an ACE, Cy Young, MVP, Top 5 in baseball, best LHP in NL.

    How much can his first arbitration contract be worth.?

    $15 mil or so.

    Either way, Ned needs to sign him long long long term, and Kersh will get paid deservedly so.

  18. trublu4ever says:

    James avoids arbitration too…signs for $6.375 million. Maybe Kersh is next!

  19. grizzy says:

    I thought Ethier should have been signed to multiple years, if he agreed. I also think Loney was a good signing and agree on the make or break with Kershaw.

  20. nellyjune says:

    According to all the sources, Andre could have made between 12 and 13 million just based on numbers of other players at his salary level. So, you have to give him credit for just being low-keyed about it all. I know he didn’t have a great end to his season, but he still could have fought for that extra 2 mill and chose not to. I look forward to seeing him prove himself again, as that is usually how he likes to play. Can’t wait to get this season underway.
    College ball starts on February 3rd for me though 🙂

  21. As far as I see, nothing unexpected happened today with the Ethier & Loney signings.

  22. messagebear says:

    I see where Kersh is asking for only $10 million – obviously more in deference to the length of time he’s been in the majors rather than his record accomplishments last season. The Dodgers, even with Ned’s brain, should immediately accept that and see if they can step up from that number to structure a longer term deal that recognizes his true dollar value to the team.

  23. messagebear says:

    And I see where Lincecum is asking for $21.5 million. Things are a bit out of balance.

  24. trublu4ever says:

    Panda took a piddly 3 year, $17million deal.

  25. How do you justify a bargain of $10 mil that Kersh is asking for, and in return, you say $6 mil. Kersh is worth every dime he is asking for, and its not like he’s gonna be hoarding every single cent. He is an amazing person with a big humanitarian heart, and in a recent reading somewhere, i read that he wants to build a hospital and school for the kids he met in his trip to Africa. I’m thinking most of his money will go towards that or other types of help.

    The best thing to do is give him the $10 mil, but tell him you’ll give him $3 mil of the money to help him and his cause, and another $1 mil in his name to the Dodger Dream Foundation, or something of the like.

    IDK, just thinking of the top of my head.

  26. messagebear says:

    INSULTING, INSULTING – that’s what I would call the Dodgers’ $6 million offer to Kersh. That’s the kind of thing you would remember about the organization when your time comes for free agency. Fortunately we can hope that Kersh will write it off to a failed ownership and an idiot of a GM and will give the Dodgers a chance to make things right under new ownership. I personally think that Ned should be strung up.

  27. grizzy says:

    Pay the Kid the $10 mil and call yourself lucky. More, if that is what it takes for muliple years. That other guy wants over $20 mil and our guy beat him every time, if I’m correct.
    I really do not think these players are worth all that much, but if that is what it takes to keep Kershaw happy, pay up.

  28. lbirken says:

    Folks, don’t get too excited about what the Dodgers should or should not pay someone like Kershaw. It is not personal, it is just business. Remember, the players union won the arbitration process long ago and will never give it up even if the process itself puts the club against the player. It is a far cry from the pre-free agency era when players were treated like indentured servents. Kershaw will get his money just as Timmy will get his. Remember when everyone wanted to sign Russell Martin to a long term deal? Sometimes it is not in the player’s best interest. Both sides take a big risk and it seems to me that whatever Kershaw gets will be a huge change over what he was earning.

  29. messagebear says:

    Of course, you’re right in that Kersh will get what he’s worth in the long run. But can’t we get Ned strung up anyway? I don’t care what the particular reason is, I just want to see Neddy swing.

  30. Nellyjune says:

    It’s all over Twitter and Faceboil that Frank just might keep the parking lots. What a total, disgusting scumbag for even thinking it.

  31. trublu4ever says:

    He is a pathetic son-of-a-bitch, for sure! Just hearing his name or seeing a photo of him makes my blood boil. He doesn’t get the idea that nobody wants him to stay in L.A.!

  32. I think Frank has noting else in mind but to sell the parking lot separately (at a high price) to who ever he chooses as the winning bidder for the team. The selling price of the parking lots will be in addition to the team or he will rent it out to the new owner. Either way he wins. Among other things he’s shrewd.

  33. messagebear says:

    You have to assume that anybody able to bid a billion dollars or more for the franchise will be smart enough not to leave out the parking lots and land, unless they have foolproof plans for building a new stadium somewhere else. So, I would also assume that their bids will include everything; otherwise you can count on Frank complicating things endlessly and a lawsuit every other year or so. Anybody willing to bid and leave the parking lots to further negotiation is probably not astute enough to be a real Dodger owner anyway. What would the team on the field look like with somebody like that in a few years?

  34. JhallWally says:

    Hello Everyone… Unfortunately, boycotting the parking lots will not hurt McCockroach. He will be leasing the lots to the new owners for $14M/year and will get paid up front. Therefore, boycotting the parking lots would only hurt the new owners pocketbook. The parking fee will be determined based on what they have to pay McCrook. And, he can raise the lease in 2015 and every 5 years after that. As Bear has stated, any new owner would be a fool to pay over a billion dollars and not get control over every aspect of the team. Especially when dealing with an underhanded and morally decrepite bastard like Frank McCourt. Letting McSlime continue to have anything to do with the Dodgers is ill advised and will only lead to future problems and more costly litigation. Caveat Emptor potential buyers!!!!!!!

    • JhallWally says:

      Just did a little math and at $14M/year, if they park a million cars (12-13K cars per game), that’s $14 just to break even. Doesn’t take into consideration the expenses incurred by the team to operate the lots. Not hard to see $20-25 parking fee on the horizon if McCockroach retains them.
      If McSlime keeps the land and parking lots, I hope the new owners move them to a new stadium. Not hard to envision when they are staring at a half a billion dollar renovation anyway.

  35. JhallWally says:

    On the actual baseball side of things, I did a little comparison of Ethier’s and Loney’s production over their careers.

    Guess what?!!! It is virtually the same!! Yet, Ethier is exalted as a budding superstar and great player while Loney is maligned as an inconsistant underperforming bust.

    They are basically the same. Both play good defense. Neither can hit lefties very well. Ethier runs his mouth when he shouldn’t and Loney runs into cars and away from accidents.

    For their careers:

    Ethier has 446 RBI in 2968 AB, or .150 RBI per AB.
    Loney has 418 RBI in 2736 AB, or .153 RBI per AB.

    Loney actually better by an eyelash and he has never had the advantage of batting in the 3 and 4 spots and having Manny or Kemp batting behind him.

    As far as run production (R + RBI – HR):

    Ethier has produced 757 runs; .255 R per AB.
    Loney has produced 674 runs; .246 R per AB/.

    Slight edge to Ethier, but not surprising since he has had the benefit of hitting in front of Manny and Kemp for alot of his ABs.

    Sorry Ethierholics, I didn’t make up the numbers. Just calling it like it is. The Kool-Aid is pretty thin when you take off the Andre Beer Goggles.

    Ethier is way overrated and overpaid. Just because he had one 30 HR/100 RBI year. He’s basically another Loney and should be making $7M/year. Not $11M.

    I am hoping that both have great seasons in 2012!!

  36. nellyjune says:

    Hey Jhall!! How have you been? I hoping all the Dodgers have a great season. For me, as long as McCourt is gone, it will be a good season because it will mean a better future, regardless of who is on the field at the present time. Ned being gone would just be icing on the cake this season. I figure even if he doesn’t get his walking papers with the new ownership right away, it will happen eventually because they will want to clean house in the front office as well.

  37. vl4eccjr says:

    It’s a huge risk from the Rangers to spend so much money on Darvish. A six year deal to boot. Talk about rolling the bones here!

  38. JhallWally says:

    Hi’Ya Nelly… Doing well here, thanks.. How about you? Very anxious for ST to get started. I totally agree with you. Just being rid of McCockroach will make it a bearable season. And, like you said, Ned’s days are numbered. I can’t think of an instance where new owner doesn’t clean house and hire their own people.

    • nellyjune says:

      Doing well…. ready for spring training as well. Starting listening to talk radio again, so once I start doing that, it means football is ending and baseball season is getting ready to start up again. However, we have the 49ers to contend with so football isn’t exactly over around here yet.
      Michael’s season starts February 3rd/4th so we are looking forward to that as well.

      • JhallWally says:

        Just a few more weeks now. Niners looking good. I’m pulling for Michael and looking forward to hearing about how he is doing. Keep us up to date. Kind of like a season within my Dodger season. Take Care…..

        • nellyjune says:

          I sure will. His first start is the home-opener on 2/7, but he’s probably going to get in some relief pitching during the weekend before because it’s a 3-game series.

          • messagebear says:

            What college did he decide to go to? Just thought I’d like to keep updated, and it must be so exciting for you. All the best!

          • nellyjune says:

            He is going to Cabrillo College, which is in Aptos (about 15 minutes south of Santa Cruz), and it’s a junior college. He loves it there! The coaching staff there if phenomenal. This school has had a complete turn around in it’s program since they took over three years ago. Just in the off-season, they have gotten so much exposure from D1 schools and MLB teams. We know Michael is currently being scouted by University of Washington and the Rockies, and that’s just because both organizations have said so. We assume there are others, but not sure who yet. So, it’s sure to be exciting and intense all at the same time.

  39. Nice to read about your son’s good fortune and yours. I know you’re proud of him. The best of luck to him and congratulation on his entering college.

  40. trublu4ever says:

    Good morning “Outsiders” …..how’s it going? Hope everyone is well.

  41. messagebear says:

    Looking at some of the numbers reported, I hope that the bidding for the franchise centers on $904 million and not a great deal more. That’s the number that Frank needs to repay his loans and obligations with the exception of the potential Stowe liability. That would essentially leave Frank with no profit on the deal, and that is what he DESERVES.

  42. JhallWally says:

    So Braun went ahead and excepted the MVP award. What a joke. He had a chance to do the right thing and prove he isn’t an egotistical cheating piece of crap. Instead he actually had the nerve to walk up there and accept the award and confirm that he has little moral character.
    I see where he’s claiming that it’s because of his Herpes meds.
    I guess he’s also got big eyes popping out of more than his inflated head. Freaking cheater…..
    MVP = More Valtrex Please

  43. By not going up to receive his award it would’ve been like admitting he’s guilty. Then that would’ve made his appeal not necessary and a waist of time. In due time we’ll see how it works out. Nobody has ever beaten this case anyway. I’m sure he’ll be found guilty and serve his 50 game suspension.

  44. trublu4ever says:

    Ryan Fraud will get what is coming to him!

  45. nellyjune says:

    It is amazing to me how some are willing to blow off Braun’s behavior because he was known to be a good guy. I have seen several comments around the social networks comparing what he did to what Manny did, and I am not a Manny fan, but cheating is cheating. Manny served his suspension, and now Braun has to serve his.

    • selltheteam says:

      Manny served his first suspension (the 50 day suspension during his time with the Dodgers). He did not serve his 100 day suspension, he decided to retire rather than serve the 100 days. Then, when he decided to try to come back into baseball, he manipulated Bud Selig (another fan non-favorite) into agreeing to cut his second suspension in half. What a deal!!!??? What a crock.

  46. Nellyjune: No matter what people say, if he’s found guilty he will have to serve his suspension.

  47. vl4eccjr says:

    Shouldn’t the Herpes be considered more severe like ‘oiy-vay-pes’ in Braun’s case if he gets suspended?
    I remember this term from an old SNL skit.

  48. Today’s the day ladies and gentlemen, the day initial bids on our beloved Dodgers are due. I wonder how many bids will come in and how many will merge in the 2nd round, which ones will drop out, and if any will top my $2 billion prediction or get close to it.

    Which bids will actually be taken seriously and which ones, will be under scrutiny because of investigations, or allegations of laundering or tampering or tax evasion or embezzelment or such.

    What a fun day it will be to see what Disney/ Cuban/ Hershiser / etc groups think the team is worth, and to a further extent, what they believe it will take for them to be owner. Kinda all in or not situation.

  49. trublu4ever says:

    I hear Lincescum has turned down a 5-year $100million deal. Another piece of shit!!

  50. lbirken says:

    Can’t say I am all that excited about the pending sale process. In fact, I am somewhat apprehensive. Among the bidders are former players, former owners, former GM’s/Sportwriters, real estate developers, individuals who were previously rejected as potential MLB franchise owners, a former NBA star turned highly successful and respected businessman, media companies (who say all they want is a small piece in order to guarantee the media rights), and an assortment of other high flying people/groups about which we really know very little. I realize we knew nothing about the McCourts but we trusted MLB to bring us a responsible owner. We now know there were other suitors back then but MLB in its infinite wisdom gave us Frank & Jamie. And Frank gets to decide the final result. Do I need to say anything more about why I am a bit apprehensive?

  51. I beg to differ. This is an exciting time in Dodger history. New ownership will be like the birth of a new child. The only difference is the old child has to step aside, the old child was not wanted, so the new child is more than welcome. The unhappy fans await the beginning of a new King. I’ve been through Rickey, O’Malley, O’Malley, Murdoch and McCourt and can hardly wait for the new regime.

    • I have to differ in your reasoning. The birth of a child cannot be duplicated, ever. When my daughter was born last summer, I teared up, I cried, I smiled, felt lightheaded, joyous, and just plain exuberant. Every chance you have to look at your child, as many on here can attest to, its a breathtaking experience.

      This is right along the lines of where this whole situation is, but the old child was wanted at one point in time in this tale. He was welcomed with resounding opened arms which now want to choke him out.

      A child is to be nurtured and loved forever, while Mc Court is more of the brother that took his brother into a venture, embezzled the money, and left the brother to pick up the pieces. A child wouldn’t do that. They are innocent. Frank, he’s been proven guilty.

      But I will say this, I’m ready for a new group comming in and showing me && my daughter what a championship team looks like.

  52. Nellyjune says:

    There have been over 10 bids submitted for possible ownership of the Dodgers. This should be very interesting to say the least.

  53. koufax1963 says:

    well this sounds like a nice transition to a new topic:
    Who are the bidders for the Dodgers? Why would we want or not want them to own the Dodgers? and why in the heck does Mc Court get choose anything about who the new owners are and how they can buy? I can already see more people here have greater insight than I on who these new members to our Dodger family!

  54. Tigers sign Prince Fielder.

  55. Now the focus should go back to Loney.

  56. Robert says:

    Roberto Clemente, Tommy Davis, Willie Davis. Would’ve been the best outfielder in dodger history — The 1962 fiasco losing to the giants, would’ve never happened. The Dodgers most likely would’ve won the 1962-63-65 and 66 World Series — Yes !

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